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My name is Hanna. I’m 21 years old. I’m from Ukraine and during summer 2012 I spent 5 amazing weeks in India. I have just graduated from the University with the B.A in Political Science. I have been to the Work and Travel program in 2011 year in the USA. Now I’m planning to go to the professional internship from AIESEC.
How come that you choose India?
I choose India because I wanted to experience a totally different culture and lifestyle. Also, I have been to such developed country as US, so it was interesting for me to see a country with developing economy. Telling the truth, at the beginning I wanted to go to Brazil, but the tickets are too expensive :).
What did you know about the country and expected before coming here?
Not much, honestly, I knew that woman wear sari, India is developing and it is the fastest growing nation, I knew about Bollywood, Hindi songs and beautiful weddings with henna “tattoos”…
What are the stereotypes about India in your country?
That it’s poor, dirty and fool of diseases.
Share your first impression after landing here?
The first impression was terrible. I wanted to change my flight and go back. 🙂
I was happy that my program had to continue only 4 weeks. 🙂
What was shocking to you during your stay in the country?
Everything was new and totally different from Ukraine. For example in India people sit on the rooftop of the buses, they have open toilets in the cities, people sleep on the streets, they are vegetarians, they don’t have trashcans on the streets but they have garbage all over the street instead, generally woman are not allowed to work, they have a lot of social taboos and they have arranged marriages…and it’s only the beginning of my “I was shocked because…” list.
How did you find an opportunity into come here? What exactly you were doing in India?
I choose a project called Sanskriti (Culture). In the end, it didn’t succeed but I had the best experience from participation in it. We went to rural areas and had to make surveys and collect data about education, housing and sanitation, employment and social taboos. I was great for me be a part of this project because I had an opportunity to see not only big cities but also undeveloped villages. You would be surprised about the gap that exists between those two.
What can you say about the work culture in India comparing to the country of your origin?
We didn’t have work as it is. We were exploring the culture of rural areas of India.
What would you like to suggest to the people who plan to have their work experience in India?
Be brave, adventures, open-minded and… go for it! Oh, and don’t wear too open clothes.
What can you say about the people? Likes and dislikes.
People are different: interested in foreigners and friendly but some of them are cheaters so be aware. Not punctual at all.
What are the main differences between the culture of your country and India.
Everything is different. Every day I was discovering something new and unusual for my culture.
How did you find Indian cuisine? Can you cook something? Share your story of the relationship with Indian food.
Almost all of them are vegetarians and they have really spicy food! Consider that you can have problems with your stomach from the beginning. But now I know have to prepare chai with masala!
What are the places, which have impressed you the most and you would suggest other people to visit?
Definitely, go to Himalaya, Jaisalmer, and Udaipur. And I would NOT recommend going to Agra to see Tag Mahal. It doesn’t worth 6 hours in the bus to go there…
What are the stereotypes that locals have about our country? How do you think, why?
Most of them don’t know anything about Ukraine.
If you have any questions, please, do not hesitate to contact me.